RNA Newsletter

June, 2019

With it being my turn this month to write the newsletter, I took this as an occasion to look again, and more closely, at some of the resources at the RNA website – in particular, at sites with blogs or websites of members. This reinforced some thoughts that have been noodling around for a while – about working toward something like a RNA journal that, maybe four times a year, could assemble some works of art and RN-related thoughts on varied topics.

At some point, this might be organized to have pieces on several themes, which might include:The natural worldInformation, insights, and inspiration that can come from observation of nature and human natureCurrent issues/events (with RN-related perspectives on climate change or other concerns)Book reviewsArt (paintings, photos, poetry, music, etc.)

Also, at times it might include reminders and personal perspectives on the whole idea of religious naturalism, like this excellent essay by Rex Hunt – Of Old Trees, Stardust And Moments of Wonder: A Short Introduction To Religious Naturalism.

To give a sampling* of types of things that might be included, I’ll start with the list below, which gives brief previews or descriptions, combined with links that will let you see the full piece or collection. (At some point pieces might be assembled onto printable pdf pages, which would give more of a feel of an actual journal.)

As you have interest or time, take a look at some of these. (And, while you’re at a site, you might be tempted to explore more.)
If anyone has additional sites you think that members will enjoy (of your own work, or other sites or articles that you like), send them on (in an e-mail to rnasecretary@aol.com) and we’ll add them to the collection of resources. Also, if anyone has suggestions of how a more polished journal might look or be assembled, or if anyone would like to volunteer as an editor (assembling music, art, opinion pieces, insights from Nature, etc.) send an e-mail to this same address and we can discuss how best to move forward.

Todd Macalister

In assembling this somewhat last minute, I didn’t give advance notice to people whose work is mentioned. If I caught anyone by surprise with this, I apologize. But, since all is posted at public venues, it seemed like this should be ok, and it can be good to have members get to look a part of what you’ve created. The hope is that, over time, we can highlight pieces from all RNA contributors, along with pieces from other resources.


“Religious Naturalist Journal” (an early pre-prototype sampling)

Jane Penfield – Portfolio of Works – at the Jane Penfield Fine Art website

Robert Charles Howard Soul Flight (for viola and piano) – at the Compositions page at the Robert Charles Howard website

A prayer
Alix Klingsburg- at the Rev Alix website) . . .
For I am a creature of the Universe, small but infinite
A momentary body in the sea of life, and also the sea itself
I am a gathered bit of energy, and one who gathers
A creation and a creatorLet me not hold too tightly to one form and lose the other. . . 

John Muir   The John Muir Exhibit (Sierra Club) via Harold Wood’s Planet Patriot website
Harold is Chair of the Sierra Club’s John Muir Education Team, and, since 1996, has been webmaster for The John Muir Exhibit website.

RN-related ideas

Judy O’Neal
Consider the Chambered Nautilus (from the That’s Amazing blog)“I see the shell of the chambered nautilus as a metaphor for personal, spiritual growth. . .”

Terry Findlay
Two Wolves: A Parable on the Care and Feeding of the Hopeful Mindset
(from The Hopeful Mindset blog), 
which begins with the following:An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. 
A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.“ It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

JD Stillwater
Seven Candles in 11 seconds (from the “Seven Candles” website)